What is "High Quality" Childcare

McNeilly Center for Children is proud to provide high quality early care and education.  We know that the first five years of a child's life are critical and that high quality early care and education provides the foundation that children need to enter school ready to learn and ready to succeed. We are a model program when it comes to giving at-risk children a better start in school and in life.  What we may not do as well, is convey exactly why QUALITY care is so important. 

The Tennessee Department of Human Services Star Quality Child Care Program seeks to help parents choose high quality care by evaluating the ability of childcare providers to meet three basic needs of children:  protection of health and safety, positive relationships, and opportunities for stimulation and learning.  McNeilly Center's programs have all earned 3 Stars (the highest possible) as a program that excels in meeting these needs.  McNeilly, as well as other quality childcare agencies, is committed to providing excellent programs because the benefits for children enrolled in quality programs are far-reaching and significant.  Extensive research and numerous studies confirm that high quality early education programs positively impact children’s social, emotional, cognitive and physical development.  Furthermore, high quality programs provided for low-income children have a significant return on investment.

According to a paper published in 2002 entitled The Economics of Education (by Jerrold Oppenheim and Theo Macgregor) "each dollar invested in the pre-school education of three- and four-year-old children from low-income families returns more than $9 to the nation."  Improved test scores and school performance, decreased placement in special education or need for students to be held back in school, increased high school graduation rates and decreased crime and delinquency rates are only a few of the tremendous benefits of quality education.  Perhaps one of the most powerful messages regarding the importance of high quality education comes from thisvideo presented by the Ounce of Prevention Fund.  

We hope you will check it out, and then please "talk back" with us!  What do you value most about early education?  What is most important for you and your child when it comes to your childcare provider?  Do you have personal experience with how quality early care and education has had a positive impact?  Would you want to find out more about how you can help ensure a better start for children in need? We want to hear from you!